CITATION: Health policy and systems research and analysis in Nigeria: examining health policymakers’ and researchers’ capacity assets, needs and perspectives in south-east Nigeria. Benjamin Uzochukwu et al. Health Research Policy and Systems 2016; 14:13 DOI: 10.1186/s12961-016-0083-6
Abstract / Summary:
Background: Health policy and systems research and analysis (HPSR+A) has been noted as central to health systems strengthening, yet the capacity for HPSR+A is limited in low- and middle-income countries. Building the capacity of African institutions, rather than relying on training provided in northern countries, is a more sustainable way of building the field in the continent. Recognising that there is insufficient information on African capacity to produce and use HPSR+A to inform interventions in capacity development, the Consortium for Health Policy and Systems Analysis in Africa (2011-2015) conducted a study with the aaim to assess the capacity needs of its African partner institutions, including Nigeria, for HPSR+A. This paper provides new knowledge on health policy and systems research assets and needs of different stakeholders, and their perspectives on HPSR+A in Nigeria.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in the Enugu state, south-east Nigeria. It involved reviews and content analysis of relevant documents and interviews with organizationsâ€™ academic staff, policymakers and HPSR+A practitioners. The College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu campus (COMUNEC), was used as the case study and the HPSR+A capacity needs were assessed at the individual, unit and organizational levels. The HPSR+A capacity needs of the policy and research networks were also assessed.
Results: For academicians, lack of awareness of the HPSR+A field and funding were identified as barriers to strengthening HPSR+A in Nigeria. Policymakers were not aware of the availability of research findings that could inform the policies they make nor where they could find them; they also appeared unwilling to go through the rigors of reading extensive research reports.